Malta registered highest increase in energy consumption in 2018

Maltese consumers registered the highest increase in energy consumption across the EU in 2018, figures released by Eurostat show.

The EU is aiming to reduce energy consumption, but energy consumption remained relatively stable in 2018, as decreases in certain countries were largely offset by increases in others.

Primary energy consumption, which measures total domestic energy demand, reached 1.376 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), 0.71% less than 2017. Final energy consumption, a measure of what end users actually consume, reached 990 Mtoe, 0.02% more than the previous year. The difference between the two figures relates mainly to the energy sector’s own needs as well as to transformation and distribution losses.

Malta registered the highest increase in final energy consumption at 6%, being one of 16 member states – including the UK, which left the block last week – whose energy consumption increased in 2018. Ireland registered the second-highest increase at 5%, followed by Latvia and Luxembourg at 4%. At the other end of the scale, the largest drop was recorded in Greece (-5%), followed by Austria (-3%) and Germany (-1%).

Final energy consumption has fluctuated over the years in the EU, peaking at 1,046 Mtoe in 2006 and falling down to 937.5 Mtoe in 2014.  In 2018, the EU was 3% away from the 2020 target final consumption of 959 Mtoe, and 17% away from the 2030 target.

Primary energy consumption, on the other hand, rose the most in Estonia (9%), followed by Latvia (5%) and Luxembourg (4%). The largest fall was registered in Belgium (-5%), followed by Greece and Austria at -3%.

Since 1990, the first year for which data is available, primary energy consumption fluctuated wildly, peaking at 1,511 Mtoe in 2006 and reaching a low of 1,332 Mtoe in 2014. In 2018, the EU was 5% away from the 2020 target, and 22% away from the 2030 target.